Wednesday, October 30, 2013

2014 Camaro SS convertible test drive review. Pure evil

Off in the distance, the vile shrill of a banshee pierced the silence.  Then I saw them, the white halos, cutting through the darkness like lasers.  But these were not the halos of angels.  Before my eyes could even focus, there was a flash of blood red, as evil as the devil himself.  And then it was gone.  My heart raced as I contemplated what I had just seen.  Was this the apocalypse—a lost soul escaping from hell to exact its revenge on all humankind?  No, but it was close.  This was the 2014 Camaro SS convertible.  This is a car so powerful, so unruly, that Satan would use it to pick up his date.  Wicked and wonderful, the new Camaro SS is temptation on wheels.

Unfortunately, I am weak.  I lusted for the new SS from the moment I laid eyes on it.  2014 is the first year for any significant changes to the Camaro’s looks since the concept car debuted in 2006.  Now we have a sinister, squinty grille treatment and wraparound taillights that loosely recall those from 1969.  This SS also has a new hood insert, ditching the little hood slot that looked like the scanner light on the Knight 2000.  The 20-inch wheels were also slightly altered, and exhaust burbles through four dual-mode outlets instead of two.

And that burbling sound isn’t just ear candy.  It is caused by a 6.2-liter LS3 V8 that blasts out 426-hp and 420 lb-ft of torque.  This car is a freaking animal.  Chirp the tires at will with the first four gears in the six-speed manual transmission.  Scare your friends.  Scare yourself.  It is like a box of dynamite, ready to explode when you light the fuse.  If you ever uttered the phrase, “a Prius might be a nice car,” do not even bother to test drive a Camaro SS.  But if you’re a dude with hair on your chest, or a girl that a dude with hair on his chest would want, by all means, give one of these a try.  Be careful, though.  If you can handle it, you’ll become addicted.

This test car was loaded to the gills.  The centerpiece was a large touch screen that housed Chevy’s MyLink infotainment system.  This is how you controlled your 245-watt Boston Acoustics sound system, XM radio, navigation, and much more.  The backup camera now lights up here instead of the little mirror display they had a couple of years ago.  It isn’t a particularly difficult system to operate, which is good on a beast like this because you want to worry more about keeping the car under control than how to change the radio station.

The power convertible top is super nice too.  It fits with laser precision, and the headliner really finishes off the interior.  Unlike rag tops of the past, no water dribbles in, even going through an automatic car wash.  A turn of a crank and the push of a button is all it takes to open the cabin up to the world.  If you’re really particular, or putting your Camaro in a car show, you will have to get out and manually install the top boot, however.  Seems worth it to me.

The compromises on a car like this should be obvious.  The back seat is small, so your kid’s going to complain.  It makes a lot of noise, so your wife is going to complain.  It’s cool looking, like a concept car, so it’s harder to see out the back than on some other things.  It’ll run like 180-mph, so it only gets a combined 19-mpg (which doesn’t seem all that bad to me).  Buy it for what it is intended for—a fast cool car with an opening roof—and none of these little niggles matter anyway.

The real compromise with this car is the price.  As tested, this one stickered for $46,360.  That is a hell of a lot of money for a Chevy pony car no matter how you look at it.  But there will be people that pay it.  Why?  Because, like the forbidden fruit, the Camaro tempts you.  It seduces you.  It lures you in and makes you do things you shouldn’t.  You burn up tires.  You burn up fuel.  You spend your retirement to possess it.  You partake in this car’s pleasures not because you should, but because you can’t resist.

I was only able to have this Camaro for a week, but evil thoughts still haunt me.  I look at the pictures, and lust for what I cannot have.  May God have mercy on my soul.

Better slideshow at this link.


  1. Having owned my Camaro SS (manual) now for almost 2 years...
    You nailed the review. I am addicted and I feel it every day - it is my daily driver !